This weekly roundup features arrests, criminal proceedings, and other reports alleging improper or questionable conduct by healthcare professionals.
Doctors may be contributing to a sudden shortage of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine by inappropriately prescribing the drugs to themselves, their families, or friends, a ProPublica investigation found. In some cases, prescribers initially said the medication recipients had rheumatoid arthritis but changed their stories when questioned by pharmacists. Meanwhile, patients with lupus have been reporting difficulty in refilling their prescriptions.
In Chicago, a nurse filed a lawsuit against her former employer, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, alleging she was fired in retaliation for warning her colleagues that the hospital provided “less-effective” masks that could not protect staff against COVID-19 coronavirus, which had infected patients at the facility. The suit alleges the hospital prevented its employees from wearing N95 respiratory masks and that when the nurse showed up to work in one, she was fired the following day. (Chicago Sun-Times)
A Pakistani physician was arrested in the Minneapolis airport by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force for suspect behavior. Employed as a research coordinator under an H-1B visa, the doctor allegedly pledged allegiance to the terrorist organization ISIS and expressed his desire to travel to Syria and fight for the group, as well as conduct “lone wolf” attacks in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The head pharmacist at Chip’s Discount Drugs in Brunswick, Georgia, will pay more than $2 million in civil penalties for his affiliation with a convicted pill-mill doctor previously sentenced to 20 years in prison, the DOJ announced. Over a 2-year period, the pharmacy dispensed more than 350,000 units of controlled substances, sometimes prescribed as the “holy trinity” of opioids, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxers. One family received 17,500 doses of such substances during that period.
The New York Board for Professional Medical Conduct charged Danielle Roberts, DO, with willfully abusing patients and “moral unfitness” related to her alleged role in the notorious Nxivm sex cult. Roberts is accused of using a cautery pen to inscribe “pelvic areas” of female cult members — known as “slaves” — with Nxivm leaders’ initials, without anesthesia while they were held down by other followers. She faces a total of 47 misconduct counts and will be tried in a May hearing. (New York Post)
Last Updated March 27, 2020